As we age, our feet naturally develop more problems. Feet and skin tend to lose cushioning and elasticity making them more fragile and vulnerable. Book in your general treatment now.book now
OUR FEET AS THEY AGE
WHY IS FOOT HEALTH IMPORTANT?
As you age, your feet naturally develop more problems. Feet tend to lose cushioning the heels and balls of the feet, near the toes and a loss of elasticity in the skin of the feet, making it thin and vulnerable.
Your feet may have bone deformities, such as bunions or arthritis which make it difficult to look after your own feet. This can lead to foot health issues and sometimes an increased risk of falls, which for many can have drastic consequences.
Nails also become more brittle, thicker and harder, making them difficult to trim and prone to ingrown toenails, fungal breakouts and other infections.
For older people, most foot problems can be improved by regular maintenance and care, keeping weight down, shoe modification and use of cushioned insoles.
Some people have difficulty reaching their feet or have bad eyesight, so simple things like cutting toenails can be an issue. If this is the case, it is important to see a Podiatrist. Taking good care of your feet as you age is good for your foot health as it helps you stay active and mobile.
COMMON FOOT PROBLEMS
- Arch pain (plantar fasciitis)
- Can be caused by incorrect footwear, flat feet and walking on hard surfaces.
- Tinea (fungal infection)
- Also called ‘athlete’s foot’, tinea is a fungal infection characterised by a red, itchy rash.
- Bunions can push your toes and feet out of shape and cause toe deformities.
- Can appear on the sole, heel or toes.
- Corns and calluses
- A result of pressure from footwear or walking. Can be very painful and may feel like you are walking on a pebble.
- Ingrown toenails
- A toenail curls down and grows into the skin.
- Diabetic foot conditions
- Problems that happen as a result of having Diabetes. It can cause foot deformities, ulcers, reduced blood flow and infections.
WHEN TO SEE A PODIATRIST?
Your feet are mirrors of your health. Warning signs can be dry skin, brittle nails, burning and tingling sensations in your feet, or feelings of cold, numbness, and discolouration. If these occur, see a podiatrist, as they, along with your GP, will be able to pinpoint the cause.
Regular check-ups with your podiatrist are recommended, especially if you have difficulties looking after your feet yourself. Nails that grow too long can become infected and if you are diabetic, which has a higher risk factor as we age, infection can lead to more serious illness.
Painful and uncomfortable feet are not something you should have to put up with. A lot can be done to improve comfort, relieve pain and keep you on your feet for life.
SHOES FOR AGEING FEET
Choosing the right shoe can reduce pain and help you walk further more comfortably. Properly fitted shoes are essential. The older you get, the more you need shoes that hold your foot firmly in place and provide adequate support.
Floppy favourites can make you unstable and should be thrown out as they can lead to falls. A shoe with a firm sole and soft upper that can be laced, buckled or strapped to the foot is best for daily activities.
It is also important to have your feet measured frequently as the bones in your feet change with age, this way you can ensure you choose shoes that fit well and are comfortable. Please speak to your Podiatrist to find out how to choose the right shoe for your feet.
IF YOU DON’T USE IT, YOU LOSE IT
A lot can be done to improve comfort, relieve pain and keep you on your feet for life. Mobility can be a problem for older people, but with basic foot care and prompt attention to any problems, getting around shouldn’t be difficult.
Walking is a good exercise option for most people’s feet. Talk to your Podiatrist to find out more about what you can do at home to keep you moving.
EPC / CDM Medicare Care plan – Eligible residents referred to us will be bulk billed to Medicare for general treatments and Diabetes foot assessments. Residents are eligible for up to 5 medicare funded services annually.
Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) – Entitled residents are fully covered by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Please speak to your GP about getting a DVA referral for Podiatry visits.
Aged care – Private or Public Aged Care agents within your community can register you for aged care funding which you can use for your visits with us.
LOOKING AFTER YOUR FEET AT HOME
- If you have reduced circulation, diabetes, or reduced fatty padding under your feet, avoid going barefoot even in your own home.
- Never cut corns and calluses with a razor, pocket knife, or any other tool you have at home. Don’t use over-the-counter corn products as they may do more harm than good.
- Bathe your feet daily in lukewarm (not hot) water using with some Epsom salts, then use a moisturiser separately.
- Inspect your feet every day or have someone do it for you. If you notice any redness, cracks in the skin or sores, consult your podiatrist.
- Have your feet examined by a podiatrist at least once a year.
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All rights reserved to the Australian Podiatry Association (ApodA) – “The Australian Podiatry Association provides these fact sheets to help you learn more about your foot health and take better care of your feet! Please understand that they do not replace clinical advice, and we strongly advise you to see your podiatrist if you have any concerns.”
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